Advocacy updates + news
It’s one of those weeks, y’all. Let’s start with the big bang: Secretary Ryan Zinke is leaving the Department of Interior. Good riddance. This quote from OIA’s Executive Director Amy Roberts sums it up:
“The outdoor recreation community will remember Secretary Zinke for his flawed decision to dramatically reduce two national monuments in Utah despite their positive economic benefits to the state and against the advice of 4 million Americans.” (See Amy’s tweet)
Here’s the catch: Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt, a lawyer and longtime lobbyist for the oil + gas industry, is expected to replace Zinke–and he’s very, very bad. So, my takeaway from this breaking news and the jolt of advocacy energy it gave me is: bottle up that energy, renew your stoke to fight for good, and get ready to roll up your sleeves. I think we’ve all been feeling that advocacy burn-out lately, and this is the moment we hit the restart button ’cause we’re going to need to dive back into battle.
In better news, the Farm Bill passed through Congress this week. Don’t know what that is? Here are six reasons why outdoorists should be stoked about the Farm Bill. It financially supports and prioritizes outdoor recreation, designates 20,000 acres of the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee as Wilderness (the highest level of protection for public lands), addresses wildfire issues, and more.
The Farm Bill is good, but what would be even better is if we can get a package of public lands bills passed ASAP. It all needs to be funded by December 21st to avoid a government shut down, and includes legislation on LWCF, Recreation Not Red Tape, the Emery County Bill and other key issues. Learn more about it here from Outdoor Alliance.
What I’m Reading:
- This collection of outdoors, creative, entrepreneurial and wellness podcasts curated by the team at She-Explores.
- “For Our White Friends Desiring to be Allies” by Courtney Ariel
- Not outdoor advocacy related, but Cuba is bringing Internet access to mobile phones on 3G networks, which is huge.
Are you feeling that outdoor advocacy energy right now? I am. If you want to continue to get informed, get resources, and get educated on how you can continue to take action, join the OIA Outdoor Advocate Network. If you don’t already know about it, it’s a project I started a few years ago to create a space where outdoor advocates can access toolkits, share resources, and get empowered to take action in a meaningful, united way. Join it, everyone is welcome!
Got some outdoor news or policy resources I should share in the next mini fresh outdoor advocacy update? Let me know! I want to support your work and amplify the goodness our community has goin’ on. (Header image via the Interior flickr.)